February 21. 2024. 7:11

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Slovakia may build new nuclear power plant as electricity consumption rises

Slovakia may build a new nuclear reactor in the future as electricity consumption will increase with the new energy-intensive projects.

The Slovak Nuclear Regulatory Authority already has a request for an authorisation of construction from the Nuclear Energy Company of Slovakia, which is partly owned by the state. The company wants to build a power plant on the present Jaslovské Bohunice power plant site, which will reach the end of its lifetime sometime after 2040.

“Given that we will certainly not have enough electricity from 2040 to 2045, we need to start today to address what exactly our children will use to generate electricity. We will not move without a new nuclear power station,” CEO of the company Roman Sporina said.

Supporters of the projects argue that Slovakia will need a new power plant because of the higher electricity consumption after several new energy-intensive projects are completed, such as the new Volvo factory and the construction of two electric arc furnaces at the US Steel factory in Košice or potential battery gigafactory. Experts, however, warn that Slovakia needs flexible sources able to provide so-called ancillary services for renewables.

“Nuclear units supply electricity steadily but cannot cover rapid power changes. This is done by other sources, of which Slovakia has few,” said Ján Mazánik from Slovenské elektrárne a.s. – the owner of the existing Slovak nuclear power plants.

However, it’s not clear who will finance the new power plant. The Slovak current government has previously said it will not give money for the project, and there is little interest from the private sector.

This year, the third unit at Mochovce nuclear power plant started operation, and the launch of the fourth unit is planned for 2024.

(Michal Hudec | EURACTIV.sk)